Four Sapulpa, Oklahoma teenagers, ages 14-17, are gaining widespread recognition for their heroic actions in saving the life of a 90-year-old neighbor from her burning house.
Catherine Ritchie was getting ready for bed when she saw her bed completely engulfed in flames, her daughter, Missy Nicholas, wrote in a blog post. “She made an attempt to extinguish the flames herself by throwing blankets and pillows on the fire,” Nicholas continued.
Nicholas described her mother becoming disoriented from the billowing smoke and mistakenly trapping herself in a closet; her only means of calling for help was her emergency bracelet. The four boys happened to be outside and across the street when the fire intensified and they began to smell smoke.
Nicholas wrote, “Not an adult in sight. 4 kids who took immediate action to save an elderly woman who they couldn’t guarantee was home and who 3 of them had never even met.” She said the boys did not hesitate. “One started breaking the glass on the front door. One called 911. One went to the back door and began kicking it in. One went to the neighbors for an ax and help,” the post reads.
Fourteen-year-old Nick Byrd was the first to break into the house and found Ritchie in the hallway. He was able to carry her out to safety and the other three boys made it out unharmed as well. The boys have been identified as 17-year-old Wyatt Hall, 16-year-old Dylan Wick and Nick’s older brother, 16-year-old Seth Byrd.
Ritchie’s daughter professed her gratefulness towards the young men and signed the blog on behalf of her mother’s 10 children and 42 grandchildren. “Thank you for your selfless acts of heroism and courage. Thank you for not allowing this to be the tragic end to our mother’s amazing life. Thank you for staying with her, hugging her, and helping her feel less alone until we could get to her,” she wrote.
Shout out to these courageous young men!